February 7, 2017 5:21:46 am
Regretting that eight people die every day on an average because of high sulphur content in pet coke and furnace oil being used by industries in Delhi-NCR, the Supreme Court Monday gave the Centre and the Delhi government four weeks to take a final call on how to stop their usage. “This cannot go on… you see the sulphur content is so high. You must find an alternative and stop their usage,” a bench led by Justice Madan B Lokur told Solicitor General (SG) Ranjit Kumar, who appeared for the Centre. The SG said, “It might not be right to suddenly restrain industries from using pet coke and furnace oil without providing an alternative.” To this, the bench said, “Have you seen this report? It says 3,000 people die prematurely every year because of this. That makes it eight people on an average every day… Will continuing with it be the right thing to do?”
Kumar said deliberations were on, and the government was aware of the problem. “It is not in our interest to use pet coke and furnace oil. We also want to stop it. We just need some time to find an alternative,” he said.
The SG asked for eight weeks to take a decision, but the bench told him to adduce the final response in four weeks after holding meetings with all stakeholders.
Meanwhile, the bench gave its nod to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to withdraw Rs 2.50 crore from the Environment Compensation Charge fund, created on directions of the apex court. The court said the money should be used to purchase equipment for real time air quality monitoring stations being set up in Delhi-NCR.
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